Apple, Parsnip and Acorn Squash Soup and OpenSky Promotion

There’s nothing like a warm soup on a cool winter evening.  This unique soup pairs acorn squash, parsnips and apples together along with Stonyfield yogurt.  The combination of fruits and sweet winter vegetables makes this soup a perfect way to end your day.

Ingredients

  • 2 medium acorn squash, sliced lengthwise in half
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups  granny smith apples, cored, peeled and chopped
  • 2 large parsnips, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 tsp. orange zest
  • 1 freshly ground white pepper
  • Oikos plain Greek yogurt, plain
  • 1 fresh basil, chopped

Directions

  • Place squash cut side down on rack set over gently simmering water in saucepan. Cover and steam until tender, about 10 minutes. Cool squash slightly. Scoop pulp and set aside.
  • Combine 1/4 cup vegetable broth, apples, parsnips and onion in heavy medium saucepan.
  • Cover and cook over low heat 10 minutes. Add squash pulp, remaining broth, orange juice, ginger and sea salt.
  • Cover and simmer until tender, about 25 minutes.
  • Puree soup in batches in a food processor
  • Strain through into a medium-sized saucepan; gently warm over low heat.
  • Add orange zest. Season with sea salt and pepper.
  • Ladle into bowls. Garnish with Oikos plain Greek yogurt and basil.

OpenSky Promotion!

Check out the OpenSky Holiday Promotion Page here:

http://holidays.theopenskyproject.com/

From now until midnight on Wednesday, you can sign up to receive coupons ranging from $15 to $100 off and 10% to 50% off.

The quicker you enter your email at http://holidays.theopenskyproject.com/ the better your chances for great savings.  You’ll note this page asks users to input their favorite shopkeeper.  For favorite shopkeeper, please input: AMIE

Every user will receive a coupon!

  • OpenSky is the place for your holiday shopping.
  • Sign up for savings here: http://holidays.theopenskyproject.com/
  • I only have 50 Premium Coupons for $15 off a $20 item so sign   up quickly!
  • To save the most, type AMIE as your favorite Shopkeeper.
Advertisements

Sweet Roots

This recipe is one of my favorites to make on a Sunday afternoon…it’s quick, simple to prepare, and leaves you with a soothing tonic of sweet sauce once cooked to perfection.

soup

Ingredients

Use as many of the following sweet veggies as you wish:

  • Corn
  • Rutabaga
  • Carrots
  • Onions
  • Beets
  • Winter Squash
  • Sweet Potato
  • Yams
  • Parsnips
  • Turnips
  • Red Radishes
  • Daikon Radishes
  • Green Cabbage
  • Burdock
  • For added protein- add Beans and/or Tofu

Directions

  • Chop the hardest veggies (carrots and beets) into smaller pieces
  • Chop the softer veggies (onions and cabbage) into larger chunks
  • Use a medium sized pot and add enough water to barely cover the veggies. Check the water level while cooking and add more water if needed. The veggies on the bottom will cook faster than those on the top, therefore stir every few minutes.  Cook until desired tenderness. The softer the veggies get- the Sweeter they become!
  • You may wish to add tofu or beans for extra protein
  • Season your veggies with seaweed or spices such as cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, pumpkin spice, black pepper, white pepper, chili powder, and cayenne
  • When veggies are cooked to your satisfaction, empty the ingredients into a large bowl, flavor as desired.
  • The leftover cooking water makes a delicious, sweet sauce, and is a healing, soothing tonic to drink by itself.
  • Enjoy!

Prebiotics and Probiotics: Are you Confused?

We all have bacteria living in our gut; some of them may make us sick, however, some are actually beneficial ‘healthy’ bacteria, which help keep yeast and bad bacteria from growing in your intestinal tract.  Bacteria is also used to help keep your immune system function properly and produce vitamin K.

Usually we would have a large amount of friendly bacteria, however due to antibiotics, poor diets and stress may cause bacterial imbalance that results in overgrowth of yeast and bad bacteria.  Fortunately, prebiotics and probiotics can restore the balance of bacteria in your digestive tract.

0e84e491e1172610

Prebiotics

  • Prebiotics are the food that probiotics thrive on.  They feed the healthy bacteria in your gut; they mostly come from carbohydrate fibers.  We do not digest them, however, they remain in the digestive tract and encourage the growth of beneficial bacteria.
  • Prebiotics include fruits, legumes and whole grains.  Some of the prebiotics that I recommend to my clients are bananas, artichokes, onions, honey, garlic and whole grains. 

6ba6bb9a15083006

Probiotics

  • Probiotics are beneficial bacteria, which can be found in various fermented foods, the most common being yogurt and sauerkraut.  When you eat probiotics, the healthy bacteria will be added to your intestinal tract. 
  • Common strains of probiotics are the Lactobacillis and Bifdobacterium families of bacteria.

Since Prebiotics and Probiotics work better together, opt for adding foods rich in pre- and pro- biotics to your daily meals.

Eating a Rainbow of Colors

aa52dca2d00ac954

By now, we’ve all heard, “Eat your Veggies”, well there’s a whole rainbow out there of amazing produce known as Superfoods.  Incorporating these babies into your daily diet can fight cancer, improve your memory, and keep those nasty colds away.  So, what are these superfoods that everyone is talking about?

Superfoods are fruits and veggies that are full of antioxidants.  It’s easy to incorporate their rainbow variety into your diet; simply mix n’ match various colors for a plate that is not only pleasing to the eye, but your stomach, as well. 

b1a706e4c5a2706e

Yellow and Orange

  • Oranges
  • Cantaloupe
  • Butternut Squash
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Corn
  • Carrots
  • Apricots
  • Our yellow and orange fruits and veggies are packed with antioxidants that boost our immune systems and provide a nice, big dose of Vitamin C.  Moreover, eating fruits and veggies of these colors help ward off age-related eye disease.  I personally love cooking Butternut Squash and making my Butternut Squash Fries, which can be prepared in minutes and popped into the oven.  Another easy way to incorporate these colors into your diet is combining the above fruits into a smoothie.

    Green

    • Avocados
    • Asparagus
    • Cucumbers
    • Leafy Greens
    • Green Peppers
    • Spinach
    • Broccoli

    These greens help relieve the effects of serious eye ailments such as cataracts and macular degeneration.  Moreover, they help clear the arteries that keep blood flowing to your brain.  My favorite way to incorporate greens into my meals is sauteing spinach and collard greens with garlic and pine nuts.

    Tan and White

    • Parsnips
    • Turnips
    • Cauliflower
    • Onions
    • Mushrooms
    • Bananas
    • Garlic

    These guys  may not have a lotta color to them, however, they pack a serious antioxidant punch with phytonutrients that help protect the heart and fight cancer.  My favorite way to eat the “whites and tans” is to roast parsnips in the oven with a sprinkle of cinnamon and chili powder.

    Blue and Purple

    • Blueberries
    • Raisins
    • Purple Grapes
    • Purple Potatoes
    • Eggplant

    These blue food friends supply us with a healthy dose of antioxidants, which are beneficial for memory and motor function.  I personally love to cook Eggplant Parm–(the gluten free/dairy free way), of course.

    Red

    • Tomatoes
    • Cherries
    • Strawberries
    • Watermelon
    • Radicchio

    Red fruits and veggies contain lycopene and flavonoids are important antioxidants to help fight diseases and various cancers.  Try a rice dish with garlic, pine nuts, olive oil, and tomatoes.

    What’s your favorite way to incorporate a rainbow into your daily diet?